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When a Seller Should Walk Away From an Offer

It’s no secret it’s a seller’s market, so when you’re selling your home, you will likely have the upper hand in many scenarios. As the seller, you may also decide to walk away if you’re uncomfortable with the negotiations and buyer requests. Whether the buyer is requesting too many concessions, puts down a low earnest money deposit, has disagreements over the timeline, or has an overall aggressive or pushy demeanor, you may choose to walk away from the offer and put your house back on the market. If you’re selling your home, read on for red flags for when it may be time to call off the deal during home negotiations.

Understand what you have to lose and gain
Before you commit to walking away from an offer, discuss your path moving forward with your real estate agent. Your agent will be able to guide you on whether or not you’ll likely receive a similar offer or better and how long it may take. If your agent is confident that another buyer will be ready to make an offer, you may save yourself from the stress of your current situation and put your house back on the market.

Low offers
Strategically pricing your home is one of the most important first steps you and your agent should discuss. Suppose the buyer continues to make counter offers below the asking price, and your agent feels these are unreasonable offers. In that case, you should walk away before the detail progresses. In a seller’s market, a buyer making lowball offers may be a sign the buyer will be difficult to work with as the deal progresses. If the buyer doesn’t initially see the value in the home, they may come back with unreasonable concessions, repairs, and timeline requests as the closing process unfolds.

Unreasonable repairs and concessions
When buyers request unreasonable repairs and high-dollar concessions, they may not budge from their stance. Often, these requests will be a result of the home inspection report. While significant safety or health risks are typically the seller’s responsibility, minor issues that don’t pose any safety or health concerns generally are forgiven. Examples of issues that don’t fall under a seller’s responsibility are cosmetic updates, low-cost repairs, items that a homeowner could fix themselves, such as loose screws or light switches, or landscaping work.

Insufficient earnest money deposit
If a buyer refuses to put down your requested earnest money deposit, this buyer may not be serious about buying the house. The buyer should be approved to buy the home before you accept their offer, have proof of funds, and should agree to put an agreed-upon amount of earnest money into escrow.

Being pushy with the timeline
If a buyer needs to be more pushy with the timeline and be willing to compromise on the closing and move-out dates, you may decide to walk away from the offer. From rent-back agreements to both parties compromising on the closing and move-out dates, there is usually a way to appease both parties without one party having the upper hand.

Selling a home is a stressful experience, even in the most pleasant circumstances. Knowing when to leave a deal can save you from unnecessary stress and complications well into the closing process.